Exploring Kent's 18th and 19th century black history

Exhibits in a museum

Heritage Grants

GILLINGHAM, South East
Medway African Caribbean Association
£67700
Black History Live revealed the stories of Kent’s African and Caribbean residents of the 18th and 19th centuries. 

Political figures, bishops and royalty: Kent has a history of renowned black inhabitants who have changed the course of British life.

Less well-known are the sailors, tailors and musicians, often rising out of slavery, who also contributed to the county’s culture and prosperity down the ages.  

"Learning about the history here, it made me feel really proud.” 

- Aliyah, participant

The Black History Live project, supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, focused its research on Kent’s black figures of the 18th and 19th centuries. Project volunteers developed the skills needed to reveal the stories of both famous and unknown alike. 

Their research fed into film making, drama workshops, online exhibitions, tours and events which enabled the public to learn about this history. In doing so, the project opened up heritage to a wider range of people.

Aliyah Simpson took part in a drama workshop. She said: “My dad is from London and my mum is from Jamaica, but I have only ever lived in Kent, I don’t know anywhere else. So learning about the history here, it made me feel really proud.” 

Find out more and read some of the histories on the Black History Live website.

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